Monday 4
7.2.a. Tourism, economy and regional development I (with the IGU Commissions for Geographies of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change and of the Mediterranean basin) (Carolin Funck)

› 14:20 - 14:40 (20min)
› salle Ockeghem (écuries)
Contemporary practices and instruments for sustainable tourism development in Kyulevcha village (Bulgaria)
Presiyana Petrova  1, 2@  , Asya Bogoeva  1, *@  
1 : Association of professional geography and regionalists in Bulgaria  -  Website
2 : Sofia University “St. KLiment Ohridski”
* : Corresponding author

 1. INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM

Nowadays, one of the greatest problems, which humanity is faced with, is related to the damaging of the environment which supports all life of the world. Humans are responsible for its destruction with their activities. The issues of the physical environment play a significant role both in the sustainable development and in the overall development of the world. Sustainable development is both a global and local challenge. It requires maintaining some suitably defined aggregates of social, ecological and economic capital. These aggregates are mainly determined at the local scale. This is of particular importance for the development of rural areas because of their greater direct dependence on environmental resources than urban economies. Another reason is that they are characterised by a semi-natural to natural landscape which provides amenity and recreational values to the urban and rural population. Yet, the threat to rural areas is that they are under pressure of urbanization. This process goes along with land use change and socio-cultural change, and thus with alterations of the regional ecological and social capital. Small rural suffer from depopulation, lower income levels and high unemployment – developments that are adversely affecting the demographic balance and sustainability in rural areas. Depopulation has affected rural areas almost exclusively and it may unquestionably be regarded as the most severe threat to local economies. It results not only in growth opportunities limiting, but also causes important environmental problems and complicates the provision of public services. As one of the possible instruments for preventing these problems is the "Village renewal". It provides important planning for strengthening rural construction, encouraging rural industries' growth, improving living environment and preserving rural unique features and styles, decreasing the rural-urban migration, encouraging more young people to settle in rural territory. My project idea emphasizes the sustainable tourism development as one of the possible tool toward Village renewal. To be more precise I am focusing on a definite rural area in Northeastern Bulgaria – Kyulevcha village. The project is concentrated on identifying the possibilities for the development of different forms of sustainable tourism in the territory.

 2. OBJECTIVES, METHODS AND EXPECTED RESULTS

 Kyulevcha village is located in Northeastern Bulgaria, in Shumen Province. It is an ancient village with rich interesting history. The whole territory under the crown of rock above the village is a home for different rare and endangered plant and animal species and belongs to the Nature 2000 zone. The outstanding nature values, cultural traditions and nature conservation area of the village are undoubted prerequisites for offering favorable conditions for tourism close to nature (ex. hiking, cycling, landscape appreciation, rural heritage studies, rural festivals, sports requiring natural settings, e.g. orienteering, walking, climbing, nature study in outdoor settings, including bird-watching, photography etc). In addition, through the promotion of regional identity, exploitation of cultural heritage, creation of permanent cultural infrastructures (cultural centers, eco-museums, etc.) and organization of specific cultural activities (entertainment and festivals for example), the rural area can be transformed in a more attractive tourist destination. With regard to my project idea I become more familiar with practices and instruments of sustainable tourism in Germany. I am interested in the practices of the region Uckermarck in the northeastern part of Brandenburg. I explore it, because it is the winner of 2013 sustainable tourism region nationwide competition. As an awarded tourism region I think it presents a good example of well implemented ecotourism.

2.1. OBJECTIVES

The investigation examines the:

  • Practices and instruments for sustainable tourism development in Uckermark (Germany)
  • Partnership for sustainable tourism in Germany
  • Positive / negative impacts

2.2. METHODS OF INVESTIGATION

In progress the project are applied a variety of methods, for example:

  • use of different literature sources and reviews on the history and practices of sustainable tourism improvement in Germany in general and the two regions in particular.
  • a research on the official documents and the legislation in regard to the principles of sustainable tourism development;
  • conduction a survey among the visitors and local people about their impressions concerning the tourism opportunities, recommendations and ideas;
  • Much of the information which is needed is found in studies, surveys and plans;
  • Collection of case studies;

 

2.3. EXPECTED RESULT

As consequence to the whole investigation I will attempt to propose the preparation of a Guidebook. It will consist of definite measures, instruments and approaches for fostering the improvement of sustainable tourism in Kyulevcha village. Furthermore, the Guidebook will contain an estimation of their application and the future benefits for the village. In addition, it also will present good German practices in regard to the sustainable tourism.

 

3. AS A CONCLUSION

What motivates me to work on this project idea is the possibility to contribute to the rebirth of Kyulevcha based on sustainable tourism. In this case the tourism will be examined as a tool for improving the life conditions in the village, population number stability, attracting younger people to settle in the village and at the same time the guaranteeing of flora and fauna preservation, culture and tradition protection. The village can be developed not only in an environmentally friendly living area for the local people, but also as a well-developed eco-tourism destination.


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